If your chamber has a young professionals group, you may wonder what other chambers are doing to make them successful. We’ve rounded up some creative ideas that help with funding and planning.
4 Ideas to Rock Your Young Professionals Group
The following questions and answers will help you rock your young professionals group.
- How do you fund it? This differs from chamber to chamber. Some charge a membership fee, while others use corporate sponsors to make it free and accessible to everyone. The Chamber of St. Mathews, for instance, gives free membership too all chamber member businesses. If the young professional’s place of employment is not a chamber member, they can still join for $150. For about the cost of coffee every week they can make a major investment in themselves.
- Is YP just for people out of college and under 40? There are chambers doing all sorts of exciting things in this arena. Some even have programs for high school students. The Lima Area Chamber of Commerce shared that they “have a high school and a college helping us to create it. (We) have a meeting with the high school tomorrow and and intern and I are building the college… As of right now- we are starting things like we started our YP; meet twice a month and learn from those older than them… so the college level will learn from our YPs and high school will learn from the college level.”
- What do they do? Many people are under the misconception that YPs meet at bars and network over drinks each time. But there’s more to these meetings than social gatherings for professionals. Many chambers create opportunities for leadership and learning. The Schertz Chamber of Commerce explained, “they meet once a month for an hour, and this meeting may include an education moment, or one of the members sharing a professional situation at their workplace and steps they took to change it.”
- What is required of YPs? Sometimes the group works the way the larger chamber group does with events they can choose to participate in or not. Other chambers turn their YP program into an elite group with strict requirements. This type of exclusivity can drive interest. The Schertz Chamber runs their group this way. They said members of their Helping Young Professional Entrepreneurs Resource (hYPer) “…must maintain a minimum of 20 points per quarter to stay in the program. They attain these points by supporting chamber events and attending their meetings. They’re required to buy a hYPer shirt and can choose to have the name of their business on the sleeve of it.”
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